Visiting Las Vegas has always been a dream of mine. My husband and I have traveled extensively but somehow this city always eluded us. So when I got a business opportunity to travel to Los Angeles, I knew I had to make my dream come true. The problem was – I had only a day to spare! Was Vegas worth visiting in one day? Well, I was about to find out…
I booked myself on a LUX bus from Los Angeles to Vegas on Valentine’s Day. As a solo lady traveler I felt quite the odd one out as the bus was filled with couples heading to Vegas to either celebrate love or to perhaps get lucky at the craps tables . That was not going to deter me though and I prepared myself for getting closer to my dream destination – Sin City. Before I knew it, I opened my eyes to tall, flashy, flamboyant hotels in the middle of the desert.
I booked myself at the Mandalay Bay one of the oldest, the finest, and the first hotel on the strip. I quickly checked in, threw my bags on the bed, put on a nice comfortable pair of walking shoes and got ready to hit the strip. My mission was to cover all the resorts & casinos in the little time I had. I hopped on to the free tram service to get from resort to resort. First stop was The Luxor, The Excalibur, MGM and so on. The resorts were huge and they centered on a theme. I walked into Egypt, New York, Paris, Venice, all in a day. By evening, Vegas had captivated me. Rich, extravagant, flamboyant… you name it. BUT, the best was yet to come. Vegas really comes alive at night when the lights of the casinos dazzle the dark sky. There's no better time to explore the Strip than after the sun has gone down. The dancing fountains at the Bellagio, the erupting volcano at The Mirage, the serenading gondolas in the canals of Venice, all took my breath away. I took everything in -- New York New York’s Statue of Liberty lit up, the MGM Grand Lion, the Aria and City Center, Paris and the Eiffel Tower, The Luxor Infinity Light Beam, Caesars Palace, etc. When I finally got back to my hotel, I realized that I had WALKED 10 HOURS STRAIGHT!!! The most exercise I have ever done in my life. That’s what Vegas does to you. It tires you out but you keep wanting more :-D
Did I get lucky at the casinos? – Well, the next day I hit the casino at my resort “Mandalay Bay” just for the experience... Who knows? Maybe hit the jackpot! Well, no jackpot for me but I did leave Vegas 30 dollars richer by playing the slots :-)
So, can you do Vegas in a day? DEFINETELY! I say go for it as this is an experience you will never forget. Is it safe for a solo lady traveler? YES, as long as you have your head on your shoulders.
Things you should keep in mind--
1) Taxis are very expensive and the minimum tipping fare is 16%
2) Use the free tram services to get from resort to resort or just walk as all the resorts are next to each other.
3) In addition to the room charge, all hotels charge USD 30-35 as a resort fee and this covers your Wifi, newspaper, boarding pass printing etc. Unfortunately, you can’t get out of this fee.
4) All the resorts have shopping malls and restaurants from Michelin star to inexpensive fast food joints.
5) The Mandalay Bay is the only resort that has a beach (yes, a beach in the desert) and a shark aquarium.
6) Vegas is a 4.5 hour drive from Los Angeles. Buses start from $15 one way to $65. LUX is the more expensive bus at $65 but they provide you with Wifi, food & entertainment on the way.
7) Spirit airlines has cheap flights from LA to Vegas but after adding in all the baggage costs, time to the airport, check in etc. it’s usually cheaper and quicker to just take the bus. Well, I hope this helps you if you ever plan on making a trip to Vegas. Have fun & stay safe!